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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 14: Divorce & Remarriage Divorce American Style US divorce rate has declined somewhat since reaching a peak in 1981, it still remains high 2001, more than 2 million US adults divorced About 40% of men & women in their 50s have been divorced at least once After 5 years, about 20% of all 1 st marriages in the US have been disrupted, either b/c of separation or divorce. After 10 yrs the figure jumps to 33%, & after 15 yrs rises to 43% Younger a couple is when they marry, the higher the probability that their marriage will end in divorce Couples who cohabit before marrying have a higher probability of divorcing than couples who didnt cohabit 1 st marriages are at heightened risk of divorce in communities w/high unemployment, low median income, & low percentages of college-educated residents Relatively high divorce rate is often attributed to things like the decreasing influence of religion in peoples lives, the liberalization of divorce laws, the rise of individualism, & womens increasing participation in the paid labor force Marriage- a voluntary contact that can be ended at the discretion of either spouse 60% of respondents in a recent study maintained that divorce is preferable to staying in an unhappy marriage Today, marriage is seen primarily as an exchange of emotional gratification Divorce in Cultural Context Worldwide, divorce rates tend to be associated w/a countrys level of socioeconomic development Developing countries of Latin America (Ecuador, Nicaragua, & Panama) & Asia (Malaysia, Mongolia, & Sri Lanka) have substantially lower divorce rates than the developed countries of western Europe & North America Between 1980 & 1995, the divorce rate in China more than doubled Several factors related to economic & social change may have contributed to this increase o Legal restrictions on divorce were relaxed in 1981 w/the passage of the New Marriage Law, which made divorce easier to obtain o Economic reform permitted more women to control economic resources & gain financial independence o Rapid socioeconomic development & the spread of Western attitudes have loosened traditional Chinese restrictions on divorce Italians have been able to legally divorce for only the last 2 decades In 1997 people in Ireland gained the right to legally divorce for the 1 st time 2000, passage of a new law for the 1 st time gave Egyptian women the right to divorce w/or w/o their husbands consent Iranian culture discourages women from living by themselves, especially if they are young, so...
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- Spring '07